Spring clean your business

Spring is upon us and so is the new Financial Year, there’s no better way to step back from your business, recuperate, reorganise and refresh.

Update your business plan

Hopefully you established a business plan from the day you had an idea and decided to start a business setting some long term goals and visions. Whether you’ve done this in the form of a few pages or a detailed document, it should have outlined information such as operations, target customers, location and financial goals. It helps to review this plan and update it every year to make sure all your activities are aligned.

Often small business owners think that just because they’re able adapt more easily to changes, they don’t need look back at the origins of their business plan again. You’ll always need to adjust as the economy changes; you may decide to take it offline, target a new set of prospects, start exporting or bring out a new product or service. All these changes and factors should be included in your updated business plan so that you have a comprehensive plan all in one place to go back to and review.

Reinvigorate your social media plans

Social media is a great way to engage customers and get lots of exposure, most companies now will have some sort of online presence and hopefully you will too. If you don’t already have a social media plan, explore the options of this with the resources you have and the advantages this could bring to your business. If you’re already present on social media, take time to look through the metrics of your social channels, which ones are performing well and which aren’t bringing you a return. There are a variety of free and paid platforms that can help you analyse and delve deep into your social metrics. With this information, you can find out what takes up your time and doesn’t deliver the desired results and which should be your core activities that are reaping the most results.

Spring Clean

Review your customer and supplier list

The value of your customers will change over time; a valuable customer will be different for every business. Think about who you define as your most valuable customers and who they currently are. They could be the ones who pay their bills on time or who don’t demand too much attention from management. Remember to reward your top customers, whether this be a thank you note, or a taking them on a day out. Then take some consideration into who your problematic customers could be and whether it be worth investing less time in them to focus on your higher tier customers.

It’s not just your customer list, but review your suppliers too and see if they’re all performing and meeting your demands as they should be. For example, do you have suppliers who constantly fail to deliver on time? Do you have a phone or internet line which constantly has problems? Once you’ve identified these issues, you may want to raise it with them or ask them to resolve it. Doing this can help to check you have the best rates around and help your company to save money by looking for preferential rates.

Review your accounts

Bookkeeping is never an exciting aspect of any business and can be the most daunting part for most small business owners. Nevertheless, it’s a detrimental part; without up-to-date information on how much you’re making and spending it’s hard to get an accurate portrayal of your overall finances. Being on top of your finances will enable you to make more informed decisions on where your strengths and weaknesses are and where you should take your business next. Poor bookkeeping is often down to poor organisation and planning, so if you only update your accounts every few months and bury all your receipts at the bottom of your drawer – perhaps you should consider taking the time out to re-organising your accounting processes. Consider blocking out a couple of hours a week to reconcile your accounts and be on top of your finances, if you really don’t have the time then think about outsourcing your finance to accountants.

Source: bmmagazine; forbes